A Letter that Belongs to You, Our Friends and Supporters

pr fileDear Ezer Mizion:

Shalom u’verachah!

I want to express my profound gratitude to the important chessed organization, Ezer Mizion.

Two and a half years ago, my mother was stricken with cancer. She battled the illness for two years, until she passed on. Continue reading A Letter that Belongs to You, Our Friends and Supporters

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Battling Autism

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From the files of Ezer Mizion’s Rehabilitative Day Care Center for Autistic Children

Nurit was a striking little, three year -old girl, with  green eyes, dimples and blonde curls. But, although she was physically developed – she sat and stood and walked on her own in an age-appropriate manner, the little girl’s beautiful eyes were expressionless, and her socialization and communications skills were severely undeveloped. Nurit suffers from autism/PDD (pervasive developmental disorders) – a neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate, understand language, play, and relate to others. Continue reading Battling Autism

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Fraidy’s Best Friend: The Monkey

monkey standerOn the screen they form a row of numbers. Impersonal numbers marching down an excel sheet. But behind every number is a family. Perhaps a Mommy living under unbelievable tension, a grandma watching from the sidelines- worried, helpless or a small child expressing his frustrations at his inability to do what every other child can do in tantrum after tantrum. People living through life’s crises. Falling. Trying again.

Fraidy and her parents were one such family.  Fraidy was born a preemie. Her development was slow, as expected. At twenty seven months, she still was not walking. Due to her high muscle tone, she had trouble straightening her legs. The only way she could get around was by walking on her knees. But walking on knees is not walking. It’s difficult and does not allow her to make her way around the house with ease. Walking outdoors is completely impossible. No visit to the grocery with Mommy. No thrilling trip down the playground slide. And constantly seeing the neighbor’s children exploring the outdoors while she feels herself to be second rate. How long can a mother look at her child’s sad face without breaking down herself! Continue reading Fraidy’s Best Friend: The Monkey

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A Plant Named Chanochi

pr spec DD preschool ok to useWhen there is no sunshine, the plant grows awry. It may have sprouted from a healthy seed but the dusky gloom impedes its development. Chanochi was such a plant. He was born perfectly healthy but the sunshine of a loving mommy was missing in his life. It was during his infancy that a sibling passed away and together with the sibling was buried his mommy’s laughter, her joy in her newborn, her desire to nurture. Chanochi was fed. He was diapered. His clothes were kept clean but nothing more. And so Chanochi grew. His body matured. His motor skills developed. But nothing more. He was quite developmentally delayed and did not communicate with others. Ever. He moved from home to school on a daily basis but had no relationships. A childish giggle never escaped his lips. He did not participate in pre-school activities and simply sat there, waiting for the day to end so that another one can begin…so that it also can end… Continue reading A Plant Named Chanochi

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Of Tantrums and Rabbits

Enjoying Ezer Mizion activities
Enjoying Ezer Mizion activities

Things are ok now but nightmares are something that you never really get over. Hadas recalls those months of terror in the hospital with Maoz, her tiny son. “Ima, what are they doing to me?” he would ask.  The chemo bag was marked ‘Danger’ and its contents were dripping into his little veins. Maoz looked like a tiny, helpless laboratory mouse. It began with nausea and continued on to non-stop vomiting. She tried to be upbeat for his sake, “Pretend that you’re superman and the ‘chemo juice’ will kill those bad cancer germs inside you and make you super-strong.” But her too-mature-for-his-years son answered, “Mommy, superman is a fairy tale. And this, this is real!”   Continue reading Of Tantrums and Rabbits

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A Letter Meant for You, Our Dear Friends and Supporters

pr balloonsHello everyone,

 

What’s it like when a mazel tov is accompanied by a question mark?

My name is Sara. I have four enchanting, brilliant, beautiful sons, bursting with energy. I had thought that the first three were challenging enough, keeping me on my toes 24/7. Little B.’s’s challenges were different. I’d like to share my journey with all of you at Ezer Mizion, you who are so much a part of that journey.

When we brought him home, we had to regroup and decide how we would approach our presentation of their new brother to his older siblings. It took a lot of thought until we were finally satisfied with a plan of action. We taught his brothers to be happy and see his successes even though his failures were so glaring when compared to other babies in the neighborhood. . We told them that they’re allowed to ask and allowed to ache, and that there is much to be thankful for. The truth, brought down to their age level, was put on the table: No! We don’t know why. Yes, in the end, he will be able to walk. Yes, sometime or other he will talk. Yes, it hurts me, too. Continue reading A Letter Meant for You, Our Dear Friends and Supporters

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Me, Art???

pr art easelN. F., a loving Mommy, a successful social worker. She had it all. During her nine-to-five hours, she helped those others- the ones who didn’t have it all, the ones whose lives had been turned upside down by cancer. She was the rock they leaned on, the one with advice, the person who helped them practically by obtaining services that they were entitled to, instructing them on then ins and outs of insurance. Then the ‘rock’ crumbled. “At first I almost welcomed a day off to relax. I hardly ever took sick leave. But this was no ordinary sickness. Antibiotics didn’t help. Mouth sores and hematomas appeared. I couldn’t breathe and I was way too tired to enjoy a sick day. My heart didn’t want to know what my mind already did. I had become one of those ‘others’.
Leukemia.
Then came chemo. Hospitalizations. Isolation. My kids were frightened. I was frightened. But the pull of motherhood is strong and so I bought a bag of prizes and sent one each day for my kids. It helped to maintain the connection but a puzzle is not a mommy. They remained under the care of strangers, traumatized, unable to understand. And I, their stronghold, was unable to function even when I was home.
Then I discovered art. Actually it was art that been pursuing me in the form of the kindest, most sensitive, yet most persistent in her gentle way, Ezer Mizion art therapist.
“During the hospitalizations, she would come to my room and offer me art materials. Me? Art? What do I have to do with art? I even hated using a crayon as a child! Each time, I would politely decline, sure that she wouldn’t come back again. But she didn’t give up. I must have been her most uncooperative customer. One week I decided to show her how unsuited I was to anything that even hinted of art and so I took marker in hand to prove to her that I had been right all along. That’s not what happened. Suddenly I found myself involved in the work. The pain began bothering me less and I felt a surge of emotional energy that had been a stranger to my being these past months. Unbelievably, I found myself waiting for her each week. Much of my handiwork became prizes for my girls and soon they refused store-bought prizes, sensing that a bit of their Mommy had been absorbed into the home-made creations I sent home. Art became my communication with those I loved. And, even more important, art became my communication with myself. It became a means of emotional healing for the devastated soul that resided in the inner me.
Later on, it even became a means of financial support when I opened a small home business selling art.
I continued in an Ezer Mizion’s Donald Berman Rehab Center Art Therapy Group even after I was out of the hospital. It was the tool that kept me away from depressive thoughts, leading me slowly but steadily along the road to emotional health. Artistic creations became my hobby. No, my lifeline as I tried to find my way back to normalcy. Art did even more for me. My life now is so much better than it had been. It has taken on a depth that I hadn’t known existed before the cancer.
I have no words to thank you, dear Ezer Mizion therapist, for not giving up on me, probably one of your toughest cases.”
For further info: www.ezermizion.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“A man’s spirit will sustain [him in] his sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?”

To the Staff at Ezer Mizion’s Cancer Support Division,
Companions in Our Journey

pr mental illness flower MB900436865This pasuk (verse) in Mishlei (Proverbs) expresses my feelings. At the beginning of my son’s illness, I felt inside literally like a “broken spirit.” The difficulty and the challenge presented me with seemingly impassable obstacles. For example, I experienced anxiety and stress that led to sleeplessness, eating problems, restlessness, etc.
When I came to Ezer Mizion and asked for help, in the knowledge that this was the right address, they responded immediately, happily and with plenty of optimism and hope. You sent me an amazing psychologist with years of experience and professionalism, who had a deep understanding of exactly what I was going through. Continue reading “A man’s spirit will sustain [him in] his sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?”

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A Letter Meant for You, Our Dear Friends and Supporters

Dear Tamar,
I consider it my privilege to express to you some of the enormous gratitude I have towards Ezer Mizion, and in particular, to the entire staff of the Cancer Patient Support Division. pr mental illness flower MB900445658
After already having lent your support to my family during my husband’s illness, you went on to help me personally by funding emotional therapy. Over the last few months, I underwent two series of therapy based on the “Journey” approach, arranged through Ezer Mizion’s trusted intervention. Continue reading A Letter Meant for You, Our Dear Friends and Supporters

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